Monday, September 22, 2008

Drive, Unload, Drive Some More

We got up with the sun and got going. We were hopping to get to the house that we were going to be renting to drop off our stuff before it got dark. We were already running behind schedule since we pulled over to sleep and because we were towing the heavy trailer and couldn’t drive very fast, we didn’t have any more time to waste today. If we continued without stopping too much, we could make it to Fort Collins before 6PM.

A new day starts at the rest stop

To make room in the truck for sleeping, we placed the top cases on the bikes

Then just a few miles past North Platte, Nebraska one of the trailer tires blew out. We pulled over on the side of the interstate and Mike started to remove the wheel with the blown tire so he could put the spare tire on. While trying to get the wheel off the trailer he realized the tire that blew out was the spare.

Apparently, who ever rented the trailer before had put the spare on the trailer but probably didn’t tell the rental place. The regular wheel which was supposed to be on the trailer, was sitting in the back of the trailer and it had a plug in it.

The spare was a bit smaller then the regular wheel, but it wasn’t something that was very noticeable. Mike had checked the tire pressure on the trailer before we left Chicagoland, he didn’t notice the tires on the trailer were different sizes. It wasn’t until he took the wheel out of the back of the trailer and placed it next to the tire that was on the trailer that you could see one tire was smaller then the other.

Mike getting all the stuff out to change the flat

We were lucky that we had of our tools with us, since we were actually moving the tool chest on this trip. The wheel with the blown tire didn’t want to come off easily. Once the nuts were loose, the shredded tread had to be untangled. It took about 45 minutes for Mike to get the wheel with the blown tire off and the good wheel mounted on to the trailer. But we couldn’t just continue to Fort Collins this way.

Blown trailer tire

We had no spare now and the tire on the trailer already had a plug in it. Before we went any further we needed to get a new spare tire. We turned around and headed back to North Platte, there was a tire place right off the interstate but unfortunately they didn’t have any tires that would fit our rim. Mike called the trailer rental company to make sure they would reimburse him for the tire he was about to purchase. They said they would. Since this place didn’t have the correct tire, they were nice enough to make some phone calls and found a tire place that had the proper tire in stock. This other place was located on the other side of town.

Waiting for the tire to be mounted

We made it over to the other tire place, then waited for the new tire to get mounted. The service was pretty fast and 45 minutes later we had a new spare tire mounted and we could hit the interstate again. Unfortunately, we lost some 3 hours and would be getting in to Fort Collins late now, maybe too late to unload the trailer. The owner of the house was expecting us there before noon and 6PM. We called the owner but no one was there. At this rate we might have to spend the night in Fort Collins and try to unload the trailer tomorrow morning.

We continued driving. The winds had picked up and the trailer was being blown around on the interstate. We were heading directly in to a big storm, there was lightening all around us. Then the rain started. There was a strong storm advisory near Cheyenne, Wyoming which slowed our progress even more.

We were going to try and stay around Fort Collins, that way we were near by and could drive to the house and unload the trailer within a 30 minute notice. As we were trying to figure out where we should spend the night, the owner of the house called us back and we were told we could still unload our trailer tonight. We arrived at the house at 9:50PM, by 11:15PM we were done unloading and we were heading back to the interstate. By 2AM we could not drive any longer and pulled over to take a nap off the interstate. We ended up sleeping in the truck again.

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